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Thread: Proposed - Brooklyn Library for the Visual and Performing Arts - by TEN Arquitectos

  1. #46
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    Arts Library Planned in Brooklyn Hits a Snag


    The latest plan for the BAM Cultural District no longer includes the Visual and Performing Arts Library designed by Enrique Norten.


    By ROBIN POGREBIN
    Published: May 3, 2007

    The new arts library designed by Enrique Norten that was supposed to rise like the prow of a glass ship near the Brooklyn Academy of Music now seems likely to sink, unrealized, into the pavement.

    All the same, planners say they have raised money for a new theater designed by Hugh Hardy for the academy and hope to break ground next year.

    Eight months after the city stepped up its role in overseeing development in what is known as the BAM Cultural District, in Fort Greene, projects are being assessed as viable or unrealistic.

    “The library project as designed has not proved to be feasible,” said Kate D. Levin, commissioner of the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs. “However, there is a continued commitment to build on that site and have some component be a library.”

    With a revolving door of directors, the Brooklyn Public Library system has not raised any of what it estimates as a $135 million price for the Visual and Performing Arts Library. Initially, the system had planned to break ground on the project in 2005, with a grand opening this year. But two of its directors have come and gone since planning began, and a third, Dionne Mack-Harvin, assumed her post only in March.

    In a statement, Ms. Mack-Harvin said yesterday that she still hoped to see a library built in the area. “While at this time we do not have the funds needed to build the V.P.A. as originally envisioned, we are still looking at options for funding, including seeking partners to assist in financing,” she said. “We realize the importance of providing free resources and services to Brooklynites — especially in this rapidly growing area.”

    Mr. Norten said he still hoped to design the project in its altered form. “It will have to be a completely new design, but it could be even better,” he said. “I’m very excited about revising all of this.”

    With its cantilevered glass envelope, Mr. Norten’s library had drawn wide praise as a bold and colorful design that would anchor the district’s artistic ambitions. Alan H. Fishman, the chairman of the academy, said he was sorry to see it go. “The design was so captivating,” he said.

    Meanwhile, he said, the academy has raised enough pledges to move ahead with designs for a $40 million annex on Ashland Place, bordered by Lafayette Avenue and Hanson Place, that is to include a 300-seat theater, education activities and archives. Mr. Hardy, the architect, is also designing, with Frank Gehry, a new home in the cultural district for the Theater for a New Audience, at Lafayette Avenue and Ashland Place.

    Mr. Fishman is also co-chairman of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, created last summer as an umbrella organization to coordinate planning in the area as the city sought to jump-start a languishing redevelopment effort. Among the groups consolidated under the partnership were the BAM Local Development Corporation, which had previously overseen the arts district; the Downtown Brooklyn Council; the Fulton Mall Improvement Association; and the MetroTech Business Improvement District.

    Joseph Chan left his post as a senior policy adviser in Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff’s office last September to become president of the partnership.

    “I think what you see is tangible progress on all of the major initiatives,” Mr. Chan said. “We wanted to put every project on a design and construction timeline, with clear lines of accountability and a clear set of expectations and milestones.”

    The city has $75 million in financing allocated for the cultural district through fiscal 2009. “We want to make sure there is an appropriate marriage of resources, capability and intent for every project we do,” Mr. Doctoroff said.

    Some Brooklyn arts executives say the new leadership has made a difference. “This has been a very positive development,” said Harvey Lichtenstein, the former academy impresario who is now chairman of cultural planning for the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. “It gives it stronger backing from the mayor’s office, from the city and of course in terms of connections.”

    The BAM Cultural District was conceived in 2000 as a $650 million effort to revitalize the area by converting vacant and underused properties into spaces for arts organizations. Since then, with the explosion of Brooklyn’s residential real estate market, developers have become an important force in the arts district.

    Plans now call for a new headquarters for Danspace Project, which commissions and presents contemporary choreography, to be built at Ashland Place and Fulton Street, with a 20-story residential tower on top. A formal request for proposals went out to developers in February, and responses are due on May 18. David Walentas, the developer behind much of the Dumbo area of Brooklyn, said he would submit a proposal.

    Mr. Walentas said he would consider being part of a revised library project that would also include private uses. He declined to elaborate.

    The chosen developer is expected to pay for the building’s structure and the apartments, half of which are to be affordable housing. “The city wants to see as big a contribution as possible from the development team,” Mr. Chan said.

    Meanwhile, some of those involved are concerned about whether Danspace will be able to raise its own share, estimated at $10 million to $15 million. “They’re a small organization and they’ve never done this kind of fund-raising,” Mr. Lichtenstein said. “But I’m going to help them.”

    The city said it had not yet determined its contribution to the Danspace headquarters, which is intended to offer affordable studio space to a multitude of choreographers.

    In a few weeks, the Theater for a New Audience, an Off Broadway company that produces Shakespeare and classical drama, is expected to present new designs for a building that would be its first permanent home. The landscape architect Ken Smith was selected in December to design a public plaza and streetscape for the new district. In March the city issued a request for proposals for a multilevel underground parking garage topped by a public plaza in the district.

    Not all of Brooklyn is enthusiastic about the way the district has evolved. Some public officials worry that the private development will price out local residents, and complain that Brooklyn cultural groups have been sidelined.

    “I want indigenous organizations incorporated into the district,” said City Councilwoman Letitia James, who represents Fort Greene.

    Yet other projects are still being dreamed up. Mr. Lichtenstein, for example, said he would like to see a “major visual art facility.”

    “I always had this crazy vision of Brooklyn being the Left Bank of New York,” he added. “It’s not so crazy anymore.”



    Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

  2. #47
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Brooklyn keeps gettting the shaft.

    Ends up with the crappy projects -- and none of the cutting edge stuff.

  3. #48
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    Thumbs down

    The city shot its Brooklyn wad on Atlantic Yards. This administration is not putting any money into Brooklyn or Brooklyn infrastructure - unless you count the never-ending "roadwork" on the Gowanus Expressway.

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    We have to keep things in perspective. The Performing Arts Center is a great project and it would be extremely unfortunate if it were allowed to die. But at the same time it does not directly fix any of Brooklyn's most pressing problems. The major one being the need for more housing.

    The community should have made some attempt to negotiate with Ratner for funding of community projects. They had no negotiating room when they attempted to kill the project from the start.

  5. #50
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    Mr. Norten said he still hoped to design the project in its altered form. “It will have to be a completely new design, but it could be even better,” he said. “I’m very excited about revising all of this.”

    Seems there might still be some life in this project. The original design was a gorgeous solution on an irregular-shaped block that was exuberant yet still gave object-of-place to the Williamsburg Bank/One Hanson Place. Could a public/private mixed-use development be financially feasible yet not oversize? Norten sounds excited. I hope there's some reason behind the hope.

  6. #51
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    Mixed-Use Facility Planned For Brooklyn Cultural District



    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . TEN Arquitectos
    The proposal for this Enrique Norten-designed library will now be replaced with a mixed-use facility from the same architect.


    By KATE TAYLOR, Staff Reporter of the Sun
    June 16, 2008


    In an adjustment to a worsening economic climate, a triangular parking lot in downtown Brooklyn that originally was slated to be an Enrique Norten-designed public library will be developed instead by Two Trees Management as a mixed-use facility.

    The city is expected to finalize the plan in the coming days. In addition to 180 housing units and 187,000 square feet of commercial space, the proposed 371,000-square-foot facility, to be designed by Mr. Norten, will include studios, offices, and performance space for Brooklyn-based arts organizations. The building could also include a small branch library — one much more modest than originally planned.

    Under the deal, Two Trees would pay the city $20 million in cash for the site. The developer would also transfer another nearby property, valued at $6.5 million, to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, which would use it to build administrative offices and a new, 263-seat community and educational theater.

    The lot to be developed by Two Trees is the southernmost site included in the BAM Cultural District, a $650 million joint initiative between the city and a nonprofit local development corporation called the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. The cultural district will also include a home for Theatre for a New Audience, designed by Frank Gehry and Hugh Hardy, and a mixed-use tower with studios and performance space for Danspace Project.

    The fate of the so-called south site, at the corner of Ashland Place and Flatbush Avenue, had been up in the air since last year, when the city acknowledged that the library plan was no longer feasible because the Brooklyn Public Library had been unable to raise the necessary funds.

    Owned by the father and son partners David and Jed Walentas, Two Trees Management is best known as the driving force behind the development of DUMBO. Although real estate values have skyrocketed there, Two Trees still offers free or subsidized space to arts groups, including St. Ann's Warehouse, Triangle Arts Association, and Galapagos Art Space. In a statement, Jed Walentas described the site for the Enrique Norten building as sitting "at the nexus of Downtown Brooklyn's commercial core, the cultural district, and some of the finest residential neighborhoods anywhere in America."

    Council Member Letitia James said her support for the new plan hinged on the inclusion of space for local arts groups. "A significant number of groups are being displaced in downtown Brooklyn," she said. "I demanded that, if any developer wanted my support, they had to include a place for groups that had been in Fort Greene during the bad times and who want to be there during the good times."

    If the city finalizes the plan, the facility will house the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, Creative Outlet Dance Theatre Brooklyn, Errol Grimes Dance Group, Evidence Dance Company, and Urban Bush Women.

    Ms. James said she is hoping that Two Trees also will carve out affordable housing in the facility. Although two of the other sites being developed will include low- and moderate-income housing, she said that was not enough. "I don't want segregated housing," she said.

    As for the new BAM annex, which will be on Ashland Place, between Lafayette Avenue and Hanson Place, Ms. James is lobbying the president of BAM, Karen Brooks Hopkins, to allow schools and local arts groups to use the theater at a nominal cost.

    The president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, Joe Chan, described the new arrangement as a serendipitous solution to the stalled library plan. "We are enthusiastic that this project will bring an architecturally iconic building to one of the most visible locations in New York City, and that the building will be tenanted by arts and cultural groups that have been cultivated and grown locally," he said.

    The president of Brooklyn, Marty Markowitz, said: "I'm thrilled with these plans for mixed-use spaces, an iconic Enrique Norten-designed building and the demonstrated commitment to community arts and creating affordable housing — which is the best way to preserve the ethnic, cultural, and economic diversity that defines life in the 'global city' of Brooklyn."

    In other changes in the development plans, Theatre for a New Audience has agreed to shift its building to a mid-block site from the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Ashland Place in order to allow the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to use the site for affordable housing.

    A spokesman for the city's Economic Development Corporation, Jeff Roberts, said plans for the south site were not yet finalized. "We're now working to determine what uses will fill the substantial cultural space that will be provided in the development," he said. "In all likelihood, the ultimate uses will include a combination of various institutions, including ones from the local community."

    © 2008 The New York Sun, One, SL, LLC.

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    I'm glad everything worked out this way. Mixed use is really the best way to go and generally, the best use of land in this city.

  8. #53
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    I agree. Mixed use is the best use for that area, which is a major transit hub and a joining point of four vibrant neighborhoods.

    I'm ambivalent on Letiticia James remarks. I have a natural adversarial reaction to any statement that begins with: "I demand..."

    I appreciate her strong representation of her community, but I will have to concede to those folks who have been critical of her that she seems to be a political obstructionist. She is opposing every project in her district unless they meet her list of demands. I am a huge advocate of affordable housing, but I do believe that market rate housing needs to take a foothold in the area in order to establish residential viability.

    James is ill-advised and reactionary. A very disappointing turn for her. I once thought she had a great sense of leadership. No, it just sounds self-serving and shrill. Leaders take political risks. She's playing to the choir.

  9. #54

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    Dust off your turntables.

    NYC library selling 22,000 vinyl LPs for $1 each


    © AP/Richard Drew -- NYC Public Library vinyl sale


    Aug. 9, 2013, 4:34 PM EST
    By KAREN MATTHEWS, Associated Press

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Hundreds of vinyl-record aficionados descended on the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts on Friday for a rare sale of LPs from the library's collection.
    The three-day sale of 22,000 records started Thursday. It's intended to clear out space and to raise money for future acquisitions and for preserving the library's collection, curator Jonathan Hiam said.
    The sale is the first of its kind since 1984, Hiam said. All the albums for sale are duplicates of others owned by the library, which is at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. All are priced to sell at $1, even boxed sets.
    Bradley Coufal was among 70 people waiting in line before Friday's sale started.
    Bing: Vinyl sales up
    "I just, like, am an avid dollar bin record seeker," Coufal said. "When I heard there were 22,000 records, I was excited."
    Inside, the records were packed into boxes in no particular order, here the soundtrack of the movie "New York, New York," there Joan Sutherland singing a Bellini opera. Classical music predominated, but jazz, show tunes and other genres were represented.
    Donald Cleveland, a reissue producer, was looking for specific album covers that he could photograph for CD or digital reissues.
    "I've found a few items," Cleveland said. "A Brazilian piece, a couple of soundtracks, a blues album -- none of which I was looking for but I'm happy nonetheless."
    Buyers said CDs and MP3s can't compare with the sound of vinyl.
    "Not listening to records is like not drinking wine," said Brian Belott, a visual artist shopping for "Mozart, Bach, Hindemith, Poulenc."
    Eli Zimmerman, a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Opera, examined a recording by pianist Artur Schnabel but rejected it as too scratched.
    Plenty of other LPs went into a box at his feet.
    "Yesterday I bought 30, 40 records," Zimmerman said. "Today I'll probably buy about the same. And I'll try to sneak them under cover of night so that my wife doesn't see that I have gotten more records. I obviously have a record addiction."

    http://music.msn.com/music/article.aspx?news=822392

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